Motorola Inc says the Book E embedded extensions to the PowerPC microprocessor architecture being developed in conjunction with IBM Corp will likely lead to some overlap in their product lines, but couldn’t say in which areas. Motorola says it hopes the Book E definitions will be completed by the end of next year – chips will follow sometime after. Not only do new embedded features and functionality have to be designed but Book E must also be backwards compatible with both company’s existing embedded PowerPC designs. Motorola says it will optimize its embedded PowerPC parts for high-performance. M-Core is its low-power product family while Coldfire is an extension of the company’s 68000 architecture. Meantime, Motorola says it is still committed to delivering the 64-bit PowerPC 620 parts that Compagnie des Machines Bull SA will use in its Pegakid architecture SMP servers sometime in the second quarter of next year. Motorola says there won’t necessarily be 64-bit implementations of the IBM/Motorola Somerset G3 PowerPC architecture; G4 is the 1999 target for a new PowerPC core. Motorola says the current G2 603e has topped out at 300MHz while the 604e, now at 350MHz, has some headroom. The recently-introduced 266MHz PowerPC 750 built with a hybrid 0.25m process design has plenty of headroom, the company says. Although recent high-profile studies of Motorola Inc in the business press have emphasized the company’s focus on embedded, application- specific and system-on-chip semiconductor design, Motorola claims no changes have been made to its high-end CPU strategy.
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